Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Percent Women: 52%
Tuition (one year): $19,488
Most Popular Majors: Business/Marketing, Social Sciences, English, Health Professions, Computer & Information Services
Greek Life: Yes
Acceptance Rate: 66%
For more information about financial aid, scholarships, majors, study abroad, and average test scores, visit George Mason University’s website at http://admissions.gmu.edu/
Why Choose George Mason?
"I chose Mason because I'm from a small town in Pennsylvania and wanted a change. Mason is not only in Fairfax, but it's also so close to Washington D.C. giving me an incredible amount of opportunities."
"GMU is a great in-state location for me. It's the perfet school for me becuase it's close enough to home without being too close."
"I chose George Mason because of their communications department. Mason offers the best professors within a variety of majors."
"I chose GMU because of the diversity and the huge opportunity to meet so many incredible people."
"Mason is the number one up-and coming school year after year. You know the school is doing big things!"
"You get the small college feel with smaller classes and one-on-one time with professors, but you step out of the classroom and realize Mason is a huge school with people coming from everywhere."
"The campus is so beautiful, especially in the spring. It's clean, and the buildings are cool, new, and pretty, as well."
"It feels big, but it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to walk from one side to the other."
"I love Mason Day in the spring. Everyone comes out for the food, rides, and music."
"Mason basketball is always something to look forward to, especially since we made it to the Final Four a few years back."
"The Johnson Center is alive Monday through Friday. You can always find a friend there."
"There are so many different food selections. Friends from other school always say how jealous they are that we not only have a dining hall, but also, Taco Bell. Chik-fil-a, Panda Express, Subway, Starbucks, Red Hot & Blue, and more!"
"Homecoming Week is always a blast. Patriot Pride!"
"I think the worse part of my school is the lack of financial resources for certain students. Being a member of the Honors College, I don't get a merit scholarship, but all out-of-state students do."
"There are not many health options for eating on campus."
"One thing I don't like about being a student here is how difficult it is to get a decent parking spot on campus. And even if you're lucky enough to get a spot, it costs so much for a parking pass!"
"People consider Mason a commuter school still, but there are so many on-campus students now! GMU has changed so much since the 1970's!"
"Fairfax and D.C. can be expensive!"
New Collegiette On Campus
What is it like to be a first year at your school?
“As a George Mason Patriot I instantly felt like a part of the community. You’re exposed to a new setting, new people, and a new environment. Basketball games are also big on campus. The Green Machine (Mason’s Band) always puts on a great show at the games! You really feel like a real college student! I love it.”
Is there separate first year housing?
“Mason has special freshman dorms, but some are mixed. President’s Park and The Commons are two of the traditional freshman dorms. I really like how it’s a community of first year students in the same boat. You meet a lot of people and there are always fun events in each neighborhood.”
What does orientation entail?
“Orientation was a great experience. Orientation takes place over two days in the summer where new students get assigned a Patriot Leader, a mentor that will help you during your orientation experience and during your freshman year. You do activities to get to know the school, meet other new students, learn about your major, and signi up for classes. Students also have the chance to stay overnight in the dorms to get the real college experience!”
Does your school offer any pre-orientation trips?
“I had the chance to go on a few campus tours before I decided to commit to George Mason. The tours led you in and around campus. Mason also has a ‘Spring Preview’ where students get a preview of clubs, activities, and events that go on around the school year.”
Is it easy to get to know upperclassmen or do first-years mostly stick together?
“First-years tend to stick together, especially if they dorm in the traditional buildings. It’s easy to meet upperclassmen though through classes, clubs, and just out and about! People are so friendly here!”
Are there any special traditions for first-years?
“Every freshman attends a special welcome week, just for new-comers. Freshmen also get assigned a Patriot Leader to guide them in their first year. Some organizations have special traditions for new members as well. I rushed my first semester and joined a sorority. New members get to experience a lot of fun things and new traditions!”
"All incoming freshmen get to sign their classes board, which is featured right in the middle of campus! When it's time to graduate, it's really cool to go back and see where it all started!"
All About Academics
"The most popular majors and deparmtnets are global affairs, psychology, and nursing."
"The workload is medium-heavy, but it just depends on the class."
"The work defintely depends on the major. Some people have a lot less than others."
"Many people have to write a thesis as a final project for their major."
"The advising system is easy and helpful, but not everyone uses it."
"Course registration is more stressful as a freshman and sophomore. It's very easy, though, and you usually get into most classes you want to take."
"It's very easy to fulful general requirements!"
"I spend a lot of time in the library, but I know a lot of people spend time studying at Starbucks and the other coffee shops. The library gets pretty packed around finals time, though."
"I study in my dorm, Starbucks, and sometimes one of the libraries."
Learn from the Best
Who are the best/most favorite professors?
"Professor Baumann who teaches art history. She's really passionate about teaching and really extroverted. Puskaric also said that she loved her personality and how cultured she was.
"Professor John Davis and Professor Megan Tucker. They are Comm. professors here. I like professor Tucker because she has a good sense of humor and has the class laughing. She uses funny gifs and images in her powerpoints. Professor Davis has had a really accomplished life, so I respect him a lot."
"I like professors with international experience. Since I can't travel myself I like to hear about the traveling professors have done. I also like professors who really make me think about my writing."
"I have a lot haha. I really loved it here. Professor Richard Craig, Professor Catherine Wright and Professor Susan Tomasovic I guess are my top three. They are my favorites for different reasons but all of them helped me out in some way for my future and I'm thankful for that."
2. What are the professors and classes like?
"I haven't had a great experience. Most of my professors came across as boring, and don't seem really enthusiatic about teaching."
"Mostly good. A lot of them aren't that strict and they're really fair graders."
"Well I'm in honors so my professors are different. Typically they're really engaging, friendly and knowledgeable."
"I liked 90% of them. If I wasn't crazy about the class, I loved the professor, and vice versa. A lot of them were really engaging and open. I loved how easy it was to have a discussion."
3. What have been your favorite classes?
"Art History 103, Creative Writing and Marketing 313 which is integrative marketing communication."
"Broadcast journalism. It gave me experience being in front of the camera. I also liked interpersonal communication a lot."
"Reading through the arts. I'm busy so I don't always have time for art, and the class forced me to read about art. It was refreshing to have a really fun class."
"Media law and Mass Comm and Advertising are probably my top two. These two were really hard, but I'll carry the information I learned from them with me forever. Well worth it!"
4. Do people go to office hours?
"Maybe once? Haha, and I think it was because I had to for a meeting."
"If I did, it was just to hang out and make some connections."
"Yes, I think once for a math class. I like to talk to professors after class if I have to talk to them."
"I went once because I had to. I'd rather talk to professors after class."
5. Does the faculty have any fun traditions or unique talents?
"I don't know...maybe giving assigned seats? I had a professor do that..."
"Well....does cussing in the classroom count?"
"Kind of a hard question when I've been here for so long...I'll have to say that all of them are unique in the way they teach and talk to you. It just depends on if it's a good thing or not..."
"For my interpersonal conflict, it was really in depth. In order for the class to work right, we all had to get to know each other really well. So it was cool to get to know everyone like that."
Interests & Involvement
Do people participate in extracurricular or clubs?
"Yes! Mason currently has 200+ student organizations."
How do people find out about clubs and join?
"The list of student organizations can be found online at getconnected.gmu.edu. On the get connected site, each recognized student organization is responsible for providing information and updating their profile. Students can find out an organizations contact information by looking at the right tool bar on a student organization profile. Usually a main contact person, an email and a phone number is listed."
"Also the Office of Student Involvement, located in the Hub on the Fairfax campus has a Recognized Student Organization Lead Team (RSO Lead Team) that has weekly office hours where students can meet with them to answer any questions about student organizations."
What are some of the most popular clubs?
"The cultural clubs and Greek clubs seem to be the most popular."
What have you enjoyed about your involvement with a club or organization?
"I have enjoyed the diversity of the cultural organizations that we have at Mason. I feel like the organizations do pretty good job at throwing events that can be inclusive to any member of the student population and I have learned a lot about different cultures through these programs."
How easy is it to start your own club?
"It is fairly easy to start a new club. To see the steps to starting a new club, students can go to si.gmu.edu, then the “Organizations” tab on the top of the page, and then the “How to Start a RSO” tab on the left tool bar."
"On the “How to Start a RSO page, there is a list of guidelines and examples on how to fill out the form to register a student organization."
"In order to start a club students will need at least 8 members, a faculty advisor, and a organization constitution."
Does your school have any well-known sports teams?
“Yes, Mason’s men’s basketball team is very popular. They made it to the Atlantic 10 Conference during the 2013-2014 school year, which was super exciting!”
“Our club sports do really well here at Mason, there are many options and great teams!”
Is it popular to attend sporting events at your school?
“Most of the students look forward to the basketball games at Mason. It’s also great going out to support friends at their sporting events.”
Does your school offer intramural or club sports?
“Yes, Mason offers a large amount of intramurals and club sports on campus. It’s easy and fun to get involved. Teams usually recruit early on in the semester.”
Do many students participate in sports?
“I’d say a good amount of students participate in sports. If they’re not in sports they’re usually supporting their classmates or participating in our student organizations.”
Is there a separate athlete culture?
“Everyone here at Mason gets along! It’s fun to see your favorite players around on campus and in classes!"
What is it like being a woman on campus?
“Generally it’s a pretty good experience. I’ve never had an incident where I’ve felt uncomfortable walking around a night or felt like I was the only woman around and couldn’t be myself. There are tons of opportunities for women on campus and Mason is a place where you can always find your niche.”
What do girls wear?
“It’s categorized like this: there are girls who just roll out of bed in leggings and a messy bun, and then there are the girls who come from their jobs or internships and look really done up. Girls also tend to wear things that rep them; women athletes wear their sports gear, and sorority girls love wearing their letters.”
Are there women’s clubs, women’s organizations, a women’s resource center, or a women’s studies program?
“Oh yeah, there’s different sororities, there are women’s club sports, I know there’s a women’s studies major, and there’s also WAVES which is a resource on campus that anyone can go to make sure they are living a healthy lifestyle from body image, sexuality, drugs and alcohol and overall well being.”
How do women feel about the gender ratio on your campus?
“It definitely seems like there’s a higher ratio of women to men; it can vary depending on your major or class size. Overall it’s not something I think about too much.”
Food & Drink
How many dining halls are there on campus?
There's one all-you-can-eat dining hall on campus, Southside. By next fall, Ike's, the dining spot in President's Park, will also be an all-you-can eat dining spot too. There's also the Johnson Center, Sub I, the Hub, and Univeristy Hall that all have food options too.
Generally, how is the food? Do you like the food? Where is your favorite place to eat on campus?
"Generally, I really like the food here. There's a lot of different options, but you can't beat the Chick-Fil-A right in the middle of campus."
"Panda Express is probably my favorite dining spot. It's in the same building as some as my classes, so it's easy to pick up food after class!"
Do people go to the dining halls all four years? How easy is it to access a kitchen?
"Since there's a lot of upperclassmen who still on campus, there's a lot of people who go to the dining spots all four years."
"Most of the freshmen dorms don't have kitchens, but getting access to one isn't that hard. All of the upperclassmen dorms have kitchen options in them."
What are some of the best meals/foods people get excited for?
"I think Chick-Fil-A is a big hit on campus. There's always a huge line for in between classes."
"I really like Hot Spot in the Hub. There always a different type of cuisine, from stir frys to pastas, and you can customize your order!"
Are there restaurants/fast food chains on campus or within walking distance of campus?
"We have Subway, Taco Bell, Panda Express, Einstein's Bros Bagels, Chick-Fil-A, Red Hot and Blue, Starbucks, and Auntie Anne's on campus. Walking distance, there's several options at University Mall, including McDonalds and Dunkin Donuts. Downtown Fairfax has some nicer options too!"
What are the dorms like, especially as a freshman?
"I lived in The Commons neighborhood and I really liked it. All buildings are clean, up to date, and have new carpeting as of this year. I also really liked how close my dorm was to the dining halls and the gym!"
"I lived in President’s Park during my freshman year. Although it was farther away on campus, the walk to the dining halls was not that bad. Ike’s is a new dining hall opening up in the Park’s neighborhood, which will be very convenient!”
Are there different housing options?
“Mason has a wide range of housing options. Mason is expanding housing and even creating new dorms for the upcoming semesters. Each year has different housing options. The older you get the better the housing.”
“I like how much different options Mason offers. Whether it’s apartments or on-campus dorms, Mason is always on top of things as far as housing. You can apply to single dorms, doubles, triples, quads, or suites.”
Can you pick a roommate or are you randomly assigned?
“I picked my roommate through George’s Mason’s Facebook group. I was able to add my roommate to the housing assignment sheet. I know some friends that did random roommate as well. Mason offers a questionnaire to help you find an equal match.”
How safe are the dorms?
“My freshman dorms were very safe. You need a Mason ID to swipe into the building. Your ID is tailored for your building only. I felt very safe in my dorm!”
Where are the freshman dorms located on campus?
“President’s Park is the furthest from the actual campus. You’d have to walk for about 5 minutes before getting to the other freshman dorm. The Commons is more central to the campus. Dominion is a mixed dorm, still central to campus. The Honors College dorms, Eastern Shore, is on the main part of campus, a little farther from classes, but it is close to dining halls.”
Is everyone required to live in a dorm?
“Housing on campus is optional. Some students who live close to campus commute from their homes or live in apartments near campus.”
Is it popular to live off-campus as an upperclassman?
“Mason offers equipped and clean dorms for upperclassman. Mostly the people who live off-campus share a rent with their friends or previous roommates. It’s almost 50/50.”
Do the dorms do any bonding activities?
“In the beginning of the year RA’s like to initiate dorm bonding activities. The freshmen dorms are more into doing the bonding activities!”
"A lot of students head into DC on the weekends or attend events on campus."
"Many fraternities and sororities on campus hold events that are popular on campus."
"Campus is pretty dry."
"Everyone does their own thing at Mason, no pressure to drink on weekends. It's a pretty independent/chill school."
"DC is fun for dancing and clubing. There are a lot of nice restaurants in the area if you don't like to drink."
"Mason is a huge school and you'll find great people everywhere you go! Whether it's in your classes, dorms, or clubs!"
"The social scene is what you make it."
"Some people have cars on campus which makes it easier to get to places."
"I love the city of Fairfax. It's the perfect blend of the city and a cozy town!"
"There's a Chipotle and a Zoe's Kitchen nearby, which is a plus. Many off campus restaurants offer Mason student discounts or allow students to use Mason Money."
"Since we are minutes from the metro, a lot of students head to DC! Nightlife is a plus in DC as well as other fun options like shopping and visiting musems/monuments."
"Mason is very involved in Fairfax and often partner up for events. The Patriot Center is a great place for events and more!"
"My favorite part of Mason is the fact that we have DC super close to us, but still can enjoy a quiet suburban/town feel within the campus."
"Traffic can be a pain!"
"I found myself going off-campus mostly to explore and attend parties/events."
"Many students go into the city for internships. DC and NoVa offers a ton of high-profile jobs and internships that Mason students are a part of!"
HC's Complete College Guide: George Mason University
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